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Eclectic Society Review – the Times They Are A-Changin'

The other evening, I saw the Eclectic Society at the Walnut Street Theatre.  Overall, this play is about a Fraternity who battles preserving traditions with the social changes of the era – civil rights, women’s movement, political activism, & all other turbulence of the 1960’s.

Director Ed Herendeen pointed out the play’s relevance to today, “I think the audience, like me, is going to be struck by how relevant this period play, set in 1963, speaks to us today in 2010″. Over 50 years later, we’re still seeing issues of racism, politics and class.  But what else?

I started contemplating the similarities of Eclectic Society & environmental movement.  Herendeen stresses “the play looks at how difficult it is for people to change” and asks the audience: “You’re changing us. What gives you the right?” While many people and companies are moving forward and making a difference, we’re still seeing much aversion to eco-‘change’ – legislation opponents, citizens not taking simple steps, Copenhagen climate talk failures, and more disappointments.  Even the simplest, small actions (like the Philly plastic bag ban proposal last year) are shot down.

Often times, change is good: but sometimes preserving the past is key – especially when wildlife, nature, and eco-systems are at stake.

Now I’ll ask you, readers: How are YOU responding to the constant environmental changes?  What do you think are steps in both positive and negative movements in this constant climate battle?

Interested in seeing Eclectic Society? Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia. Running Jan. 27 – March 7: Tuesday-Saturday @ 8 PM, Sunday @ 7 PM, & matinees Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 PM  Tickets range $10-$60, premium tickets are $115. For tickets, visit www.walnutstreettheatre.org or call (215) 574-3550.

Posted by Julie

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

1 thought on “Eclectic Society Review – the Times They Are A-Changin'

  1. I saw it last night and thought it was pretty close to the way it was. I was in a national fraternity in the mid 50’s and it really brought it back to me. We didn’t have any black members yet and I’m not proud of that. It took the 60’s to really change things.

    I also thought it was very well acted and the stage setting was world class. But I never saw our living room quite that neat at any time.

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